Whether it is regretting that credit card splurge, agonizing about not returning your friend’s call or feeling remorse for not spending more time with your children or [insert your current guilty feeling here]... or worse...
Guilt hovers over you like a dark cloud. Thoughts seem to have a mind of their own, intruding at all hours of the day. Chances are that sometimes we feel guiltier than the inmates of Wormwood Scrubs!
So next time, the Judge Judy in your head goes into overdrive, follow these tips- and banish those bad feelings for good. (Well, I am trying to be positive here. Stay with me!)
#1. Stop beating yourself up
Ok. So you might have not done the right thing when it was required, but that doesn’t make you a monster. Instead of punishing yourself, and focusing on all the terrible things you think you’ve done, remember some of your good deeds.
#2. Do it for you
It might be trying to lose weight, feeling you should work late to please your boss or fretting about spending more quality time with the kids, but chances are there’s always something you think you should be doing. Living up to other people’s expectations leaves you wracked with feelings of guilt and inadequacy.
Ask yourself, what YOU want. The minute you realize your guilt comes from a perceived failure to live up to other people’s expectations, it will gradually disappear.
Sometimes, there’s a good reason for feeling guilty; like forgetting your anniversary, or forgetting to call your Mum on Mother’s day for example.
If your guilt is rational, then try to apologies as soon as possible. An honest apology will make the person you’ve upset feel better. (It might take a long time for them to forgive and forget though!)
Putting it off the apology will only intensify your feelings and you’ll waste energy fretting about it.
#4. Be a Do-Gooder
With so many atrocities going on in this world, it's easy to feel guilty about your own good fortune. We can’t always right every wrong. So try focusing on the little things you can change. You can do for other’s what they can't do for themselves.
It might not be enough to save the world, but it will soothe your conscience not knowing that at least you’re doing your bit.
#5. See the flip side
Begin appreciating what you’ve got instead of stressing about what you haven't got (I know this is easier said than done). There are always two sides to every story ;-)
#6. Get it off your chest
Sometimes the best thing is to talk it out. Tell someone you can confide in about your guilt.
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